My Dear Friend,
I call you my friend because if you came to this website, you have read What’s it Like to be Married to Me? Or another of the books God has had me write. Or maybe you just got to this site and aren’t sure why you’re here. Let me introduce myself to you. Pretend we’re sitting down having a cup of coffee or tea…..I live right at the base of the mountains in Colorado so as you sip your tea, imagine you’re looking at the glory of the Rocky Mountains.
You know my name is Linda and my husband’s is Jody. But did you know we have ten grandchildren! From age 13 down to 1. And oh yes, four children came before the ten grandchildren. As I look back on my life, I feel so privileged during my 46 years of marriage to have been a missionary on three continents and come to know some of the most incredible people in the world: God’s saints in persecuted countries. I had contentment modeled for me by Alina in Poland, Ildiko in Hungary, and Lidia in Romania. These dear women remain my close friends.
Jody and I were married in September, 1964 right before our senior year in college. We married young and were in school nine of our first thirteen years of marriage. We had three children in three years and when Joy, Robin and Tommy were 7, 8 and 10 we moved to Vienna, Austria to train pastors and lay leaders in the then communist Eastern Europe and Russia. We lived in Vienna, on the edge of Eastern Europe for fourteen years. What did we do?
- We adopted our neighbor, an Austrian boy, Niki.
- We learned German (our children learned it well…Jody and I tried!)
- We traveled into many countries teaching small groups who then taught others
- We led a large staff on loan from many missions
Our children grew up as “third culture kids,” part American, part Austrian and part however each combined those two cultures. Today we have a Finnish son in law, a Mexican daughter in law and two precious adopted African American granddaughters….so our family is multi-cultural.
We were privileged to be in Austria when the walls of Communism were smashed in Eastern Europe. What a thrill! A couple of years later, the crazy man I’m married to—that would be Jody—said, “Honey, there are people on the other side of the world who need what God has given us here,” so we moved to Hong Kong. So at age 50, I started over again, with a new country, new language, new friendships. Jody and I thought we would spend the rest of our lives in Asia but God had other plans. At age 53, He moved us back to America which was like a new country to me. I had lived overseas seventeen years and wasn’t sure I would fit in with Americans but God graciously took me by the hand and showed me that I was still very American.
Our first year back in the States, I asked the Lord if He wanted me to write all He had been teaching me about contentment. Really I must be a hard case because He felt He had to move me from country to country and along the way, God burned a message about trusting Him with all my “What If’s, If Only’s and Whys.” I remember praying, “Lord, I have to know YOU want me to write this message so could please let me know in a way that I’ll be sure it is YOU? Four days later, Liz Heaney, an editor called and asked me if I would consider writing a book on contentment for Navpress. Yes, I almost dropped the phone. And yes, as I hung up the phone, I dropped to my knees and with tears thanked the Lord for His kindness and gentleness with me. Thus…Calm My Anxious Heart was written.
When we moved to Colorado, I only knew one woman, my friend Phyllis Stanley but Phyllis took it as her job to introduce me to everyone she thought I should know. One day I arrived at her home for tea to meet Lorraine Pintus. I remember Phyllis looking at us and saying, “You both have the same gifts and you will like each other.” She had no idea what she began! My soul sister, Lorraine and I have been privileged to write three books together, Intimate Issues, Giftwrapped by God and Intimacy Ignited. s
It all began with Intimate Issues. I remember well the hours Lorraine and I spent reading through the Bible asking Him to answer His women’s questions about sex. I remember the hours on our knees asking God for wisdom. I remember the hours researching and surveying God’s women. When Intimate Issues was finished, Lorraine and I, on our knees lifted it to God and said, “Lord, here is our offering.” And then we yelled, “FINISHED!” Ha! What did we know? The phone began to ring and we hears this question, “We’re sure you give conferences. We want an Intimate Issues Conference! In the past eleven years, we have traveled the United States and Europe giving conferences.
I never saw myself as a writer. I learned to write when God gave me a message. And He gave me two more during the years Lorraine and I were traveling and speaking together. First, A Deeper Kind of Calm and Satisfy My Thirsty Soul. It is good to read a book or go to a retreat and hear the Word of God but transformation really comes when we get in God’s Word for ourselves. So, every book I’ve written has a Bible Study in the back and Calm My Anxious Heart has a companion Contentment Journal and Satisfy My Thirsty Soul a companion Worship Journal.
In 2006, I was 64 years old and felt I was in the most exciting time of ministry. Years and experience brings wisdom and I was excited about the years ahead! Then I fell. I have no memory of falling down a flight of stairs in an airport and landed on my head. I woke up several hours later in a trama hospital. Jody flew to be with me and says that even though I have no memory of the five days in the hospital that I talked…Every day the doctor caring for me would walk into my room, look at me and say, “You have a severe brain injury” and I would say back, “I’m going to Ireland next week.” Jody’s comment about this was,, “Even when you’re not really there, You’re still telling people what you’re going to do.” I’d never fallen and don’t know why I fell. But I fell and my life was changed.
I didn’t go to Ireland with Lorraine. I cancelled all my speaking engagements for the next year and begin to heal. I am very grateful to God. I can walk and talk, I can even speak to women about the God I love. But I am not who I was. For two and a half years after my accident, I had no creative thoughts. It was like it took everything in my brain just to live life. So….I put on the altar ever writing again. Amazingly, after two and a half years, God began to give me back creative thinking! I stood in awe of my God! And He began to speak to me about writing a book on marriage. I remember laughing and saying to Him, “Lord, did you forget, I already wrote about marriage when I was 34. Did you forget about Creative Counterpart? But my Father made it very clear I was to write again on marriage, that He had a message for His daughters. How do I describe to you the joy of partnering with the Holy Spirit to write What’s it Like to be Married to Me? There truly are no words. I am slow but God’s power is Strong. I told the Holy Spirit one day, “You have been my Teacher, my Encourager, my Helper, and Comforter but now you are my Partner.” I can only bow and worship and thank my God.
This website is here to encourage you if you teaching or studying What’s it Like to be Married to Me? I pray it will be an encouragement to you!
God’s Blessings, dear lady,